Resonating on a Vision

ServiceNow held a Partner Event in Washington DC last week, an event where we were invited as a technology partner. To me, this one day session was interesting on two levels: 1) Showcasing the growth of ServiceNow and 2) Highlighting the vision for ITOM automation.

The unstoppable march towards ITSM market domination is clear, it is strong and it cannot be ignored. As the numbers below show, ServiceNow growth is phenomenal while customer churn is insignificant. When it comes to churn however, it is worth noting that transitioning an IT organization to ServiceNow represents a major commitment in terms of resources and time and that is a solid recipe for retention.

*All images in this blog are from presentations delivered during the event

The community of users and experts is growing and it is carefully cultivated leading to both loyal following and innovative ecosystem. This attention to community is a smart way to solidify the ServiceNow positioning as an Enterprise platform and to drive growth not only through technology but also through business innovation.

The event was full of case studies presented by very large organizations fighting inertia and legacy. These stories were a good proof of value and a realistic perspective on the challenge of IT transformation enabled by ServiceNow. Understandably, these deployments spanning in some cases years help target the large government agencies. I for one would have liked to see a few examples on smaller footprint deployment, more agile environments where brownfields are less of a drag.

Throughout the day the vision ServiceNow has for the IT of the future was addressed in multiple way, from multiple angles and I must say that they are spot on. Well, I have to say it because this is the same vision we at Nephos6 have and align our roadmap with:

  • Focus on User Experience and Services
  • Intelligent, Proactive Monitoring
  • Automated Troubleshooting and Remediation

ServiceNow identifies the following challenges for IT and ITSonar addresses End User Experience and Service Availability management.

We also help organizations manage the Cost of Services by tracking SLAs and consistency of delivery.

How about the approach to addressing the IT challenges? Again, the roadmap makes sense:

  • Create an accurate, well maintained single source of truth when it comes to the assets of the organization
  • Understand the services delivered not only in terms of technology and ownership but also in terms of business impact
  • Transition from a reactive to a proactive IT organization
  • Have an informed perspective of incidents and ownership of fault domain
  • Automate as much of the remediation process as possible
  • Aggregate information, views, insights

The mantra should be: automate the discovery, monitoring and troubleshooting of the 80% of the issues plaguing the IT environment, free the staff from running the business so it can focus on transforming the business. To say that ITSonar enables Steps 2-5 and integrates with ServiceNow for 1 and 6 would be a rather simplistic take on the way we envision working with together. ITSonar automation and intelligence based on network domain expertise combine with the integrated perspective offered by ServiceNow delivers significantly more insight and business value.

Finally, significant time was spent on showcasing the strides made by ServiceNow on applying Machine Learning to the data it aggregates. This of course is the  work done to leverage the DxContinuum acquisition that focuses on making the most of the incident data to move towards proactive and predictive incident creation.

The numbers showcased are quite impressive. For 6 customers analyzed, the solution led to estimated annual savings of 26,598 hours derived from intelligent and correct assignment of incidents. By all measures, machine learning delivers clear value to IT operations just based on analyzing historical incidents information. Now imagine what can you do with machine learning applied to an instrumentation that is actively testing availability and performance of Cloud services. That is the ITSonar vision. Combine the two approaches, incident based intelligence and active monitoring intelligence and IT organizations will be dramatically transformed.

Finally, it should be mentioned that security also took center stage during multiple session. It was great to see my former Cisco colleague (whom I worked with on IPv6 Security) Sean Convery lead the security offering strategy for ServiceNow. More on this topic in a later post.

It feels great to spend time amongst kindred spirits and see the ideas and hard work of the Nephos6 team validated by an industry leader.  At the same time, it is impossible not to get a clear sense of how strong is the execution of a company that is moving from ITSM to being an Enterprise Resources and Processes Management platform. Well done ServiceNow!